Gotham’s Jeremiah Was Influenced By Hannibal Lecter

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While Jerome Valeska was pretty much a spot-on comic-to-screen translation of the Joker when it came to personality, actor Cameron Monaghan has thus far given us a different performance for twin brother Jeremiah, who, for all intents and purposes, is Gotham‘s version of the Joker.

To elaborate, whereas Jerome was darkly comedic and would make you laugh at all the wrong things, Jeremiah has proven to be much more calm and calculating – well, at least from the footage we’ve seen. An extended trailer has teased that his first maniacal laugh is coming, so I find it important to remind everyone that what we’re witnessing is a gradual evolution, as the character is inching closer toward the Clown Prince of Crime one would expect on a week-to-week basis.

What shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, though, is that Monaghan recently told ComicBook.com that horror icon Hannibal Lecter served as an influence on Jeremiah. And based on what he had to say, we’re guessing that he could be referring to Anthony Hopkins’ legendary portrayal:

“One of the main characters that we modeled Jeremiah from is Hannibal Lecter. There are a lot of moments that made Hannibal Lecter so terrifying. [One] in my opinion, was even though he was the one in the cage, he was the one locked up under key, for some reason, because of his intelligence he was always the one who had control. He might have been in the cage, but he was the one who had all the cards and carried all the weight. That is something that Jeremiah has.”

As Monaghan continued, he reminded us of Jeremiah’s formidable intellect:

“No matter how this guy is backed into a corner, he plans for contingency and he is intelligent enough that he knows how to manipulate and hurt people. He can take control. He has power in those certain situations. It is something that is really spooky. I’m excited for people to see some of these scenes because I think there is some really great moments in them.”

This isn’t the first time Lecter had some inspiration to offer the Ace of Knaves. Perhaps you’ve heard this at some point, but Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker producer and screenwriter Bruce Timm had been reading Thomas Harris’ Hannibal as he and his colleagues were headed into production, and I guess some parallels were drawn between the two villains.

Of course, this other instance seemed to be more of an aesthetic influence, what with Joker having slicked back hair and all, but there was something about Mark Hamill’s performance that had been a little scarier than usual. Plus, the animated film was so dark that it had to be toned down in its initial release, with a director’s cut issued later down the road.

So, who knows, maybe we can one day see the Riddler dancing to “Goodbye Horses” if the producers continue looking to The Silence of the Lambs in the future?

Gotham airs on Thursday nights on Fox.

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